While some people have to be aware of what is made with peanuts most of us can enjoy the many, many things it can be turned into. From snack bars to amazing sandwich spreads, the humble peanut sure is a diverse nut, but it is also a fascinating one. Today we take a look at ten facts about peanuts that will blow your mind…
Fact 1: Peanuts are not Nuts!!!
And we start this list with a real mind blower. Despite having the word “nut” in their name peanuts are actually classed as legumes. So what is a legume? It’s a fruit or seed of such a plant grown in the ground. This family also includes peas, chickpeas, lentils, lupin bean, mesquite, carob, soybeans and tamarind! Legumes are notable in that most of them have symbiotic nitrogen-fixing bacteria in structures called root nodules. For that reason, they play a key role in crop rotation.
Fact 2: There are 5 Parts to Every Peanut!
If you think its just the shell and the nut you couldn’t be further from the truth. The 5 parts are the Shell (outer covering, in contact with dirt), the Cotyledons (the main edible part), the Seed coat (the brown paper-like covering of the edible part), the Radicle (the embryonic root at the bottom of the cotyledon, which can be snapped off) and the Plumule (the embryonic shoot emerging from the top of the radicle). See, its not quite a simple as you would first think!
Fact 3: Arachibutyrophobia is the Fear of Peanut Butter Sticking to the Roof of the Mouth!
It sounds like one of the strangest phobias in the world, but a lot more people suffer from it than you might think. While it does sound silly to those who suffer from it it’s deadly serious and can result in them having severe panic attacks and even shortness of breath!
Fact 4: There is a World Record for the Furthest Someone Has Thrown a Peanut!
This might just be the daftest world-record you will ever hear of, but Colin Jackson from Cardiff, UK is the current record holder with a massive throw of 37.92 metres (124 ft 4 in)! That is one hell of a throwing arm that is for certain.
Fact 5: There are 4 Main Types of Peanuts!
The most popular and the one that is probably used to make the most Peanut butter is the Runner (because it has the largest kernels), but there is also Runner Peanuts, Spanish Peanuts and Valencia Peanuts! You can read up about all the different types of them here: http://aboutpeanuts.com/types-of-peanuts/
Fact 6: POTUS was Once a Peanut Farmer!
OK, so it wasn’t the current President of the United States (Donald Trump) but both Thomas Jefferson and Jimmy Carter where indeed peanut farmers! While they both grew other crops as well it still an interesting fact.
Fact 7: Peanuts Have Been to the Moon!
OK, so it wasn’t an actual peanut astronaut, but it was a tube of peanut better carried by the American astronaut Alan Shepard when he went to the moon in February 2nd, 1971 While he didn’t eat it on the moon it was in the lander be arrived in.
Fact 8: Peanuts are Good for you!
Peanuts are not only a great source of energy, but they are also an excellent source of several vitamins. Each peanut is filled with vitamin B, vitamin E and quite a few dietary minerals like manganese, magnesium and phosphorus, antioxidants and even some dietary fibre! Peanuts are also a significant source of resveratrol which has been reported to have a number of beneficial health effects such as anti-cancer, antiviral, neuroprotective, anti-ageing, anti-inflammatory and even life-prolonging effects!
Fact 9: Peanut Shells are Used To Make Kitty Litter!
There are loads of different things you can make and do with peanut shells from making compost and mulch and even your own homemade kitty litter! But you will need to turn the shells into power if you want to make your own.
Fact 10: Peanuts Make Electricity!
This is yet another strange use of all those leftover peanut shells. Some biomass power stations use peanut shells and millet stalks supplied by farmers to power local homes and businesses. While it’s not the most efficient way to make electricity it is at the very lest clean.